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Fayetteville Police Chief Says Department Doesn’t Have DWI Quotas

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- The Fayetteville police chief said his department does not have DWI ticket quotas after he was subpoenaed to testify before a jury on Thurs...

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- The Fayetteville police chief said his department does not have DWI ticket quotas after he was subpoenaed to testify before a jury on Thursday (March 19).

Police Chief Greg Tabor went before Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay to testify about a federal grant program called the Selective Enforcement Traffic Program, or STEP.

"We do not have any quotas when it comes to anything," Tabor said. "When it comes to speeding tickets or DWI arrests, we do not have any quotas."

Officers who are part of STEP are expected to make two traffic stops an hour and one DWI arrest every eight hours shift. Tabor said that's a performance expectation, but not a quota.

"Is it an expected level of performance?  Yes, there is and there's some goals in this program of one DWI arrest every eight hours averaged throughout the year," Tabor said. "But is that a quota? No, it's not. It's a goal."

The chief said there are no repercussions for officers who don't meet the STEP goals. He also said the STEP program encourages some of his officers to keep their eyes out for DWI offenders.

"The officers still have to have probable cause to stop you," Tabor said. "They still have to have probable cause to make a DWI arrest, whether they are working STEP or just normal patrol duties. None of that changes just because [officers] are working the STEP program."

Tabor said the Fayetteville Police Department has been part of the STEP program since the late 1990's.

Tabor was subpoenaed to testify regarding the DWI arrest of a Texas man in 2013. According to his arrest report, Christopher Allen Baker, 39, of Frisco, Texas, was pulled over by a Fayetteville police officer on November 24, 2013 for driving left of center on Lafayette Avenue. The reports states Baker had glassy, blood-shot eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of intoxicants about his person. It also states the suspect admitted to drinking alcohol and performed poorly on the standard field sobriety tests. He was arrested on several charges including DWI, according to the report.

Defense attorneys showed the jury the video of Baker's arrest on Thursday saying their client never showed any signs of being intoxicated.

The jury trial is expected to continue in Washington County Circuit Court Friday.

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